1st XI vs Sevenoaks (Home) | 08 Feb 20

Won 3-2

Scorers: Craig Boyne (2), Louis Ridge

MoM: Craig Boyne

DoD: Michael Farrer

Super Social Saturday at the fortress. 4pm PB on AW1. The sun was shining, the stage was set, and the setting was a dream.

Buoyed from a gritty three points in Bath, the squad were excited and keen to upset the visiting Sevenoaks, a team who had proved dominant over Canterbury earlier in the season. Some more experienced members of the team even mentioning pre-match nerves.

The game started at a high pace, with the visitors making the most of their Q1 territory and possession. They took the lead through a lapse in concentration, allowing their centre-mid to amble slowly back in to position, sneaking below the radar of the defensive unit. This was uncharacteristic of recent weeks, through which a dogged determination has been a key feature of the teams line up and performances. This lapse led to a free strike and a scramble in front of goal, which allowed Sevenoaks to take the lead.

Canterbury fought back. A few tough challenges allowed Canterbury to find their feet, starting to create chances and win corners. One corner breakdown led to a scramble at the other end, resulting in a penalty stroke – calmly slotted by Boyne – 1 goal a piece.

In to Q2, Canterbury took the lead. Louis Ridge continuing his fine form and adding to his tally for the season so far. I don’t honestly remember Louis goal, but he is a very skilful young individual, so we can assume he beat the advancing keeper, probably following a great counter attacking play, spearheaded by Callum before he got upended. Something like that… 2-1 up in to the half.

The second half was a bit of a familiar story to the home team, again defending deep and defending well, but missing out on chances to kill the game mid-way through. Canterbury also defended corners well, with the unit generally shutting down or smothering the oppositions chances. With around three minutes to go, Sevenoaks did manage to convert, with the sniff of a late upset on their minds. Canterbury however, had other plans.

Knowing a hard earned three points were at risk, the team drove down the left towards the Sevenoaks circle. A foul outside was a chance, but not stopping the ball dead (new rule, apparently), meant the quick advantage was lost. Nonetheless, player-coach Boyne managed to drive to the baseline, and pull the ball back on to a defenders foot inside the ‘D’. One and a half minutes on the clock, it was now or never.

Boyne took control from the top, flicking low in to the corridor of uncertainty, beating both ‘keeper and post-man, to a chorus of excitement (and relief) from the home crowd and sideline.
This allowed just a few seconds to restart, shortened further by a well placed (although judged to be poorly placed) tackle from Farrer, to see the game through.

A more relaxed reflection highlighted how there were more chances to take and to upgrade. Excitement and emotional overload could have pushed the result either way, showing the need to keep a cooler head in the heat of a fiery and competitive game. There is no doubt that the vocal crowd were a great help to the team and squad, helping to push across the line.

Canterbury travel to Teddington on Sunday, a team level on points but with a game in hand. The Super Social Saturday of last week turns next week to a good old fashioned six pointer, with momentum on the side of the green and white.

Squad: Cade Bandit (GK), Rich Keir, James Henderson, Chris Laslett, Toby Vaughan (C), Ollie Ridge, Tom Degiovanni, Lewis Fossey, Matt Carney, Craig Boyne, Louis Ridge, Conor Annand, Callum Brown-Lea, Michael Farrer, Tom Richford